With the exact texture and a similar flavor to classic Rice Crispy Treats, this natural version boasts only 3 ingredients and a natural sweetener. Plus, these Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats take only minutes to make AND they’re so super yummy!
Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
Long ago when I was a teenager, we had a very crunchy cookbook from a natural foods store in Philly. There was a recipe for crispy brown rice bars that we tried and I’ve always remembered it fondly—and love to make this updated version for my family now. This recipe is just three simple ingredients and it comes together in minutes. It’s sweet and also nourishing!
Homemade Rice Crispy Treats without Marshmallows
This no-bake peanut butter bar recipe is like a classic Rice Crispy Treat, but with a less overtly sweet flavor and some protein in the mix from the nut butter. Which means that they taste great, have the texture that you expect, but they are a more balanced snack or dessert since they have more going for them than just sweetness.
Ingredients You Need
To make this healthy dessert, you’ll need:
- Natural unsweetened peanut butter
- Crispy brown rice cereal
- Brown rice syrup
TIP: Look for brown rice syrup in the sweetener aisle of your store near the sugar and agave syrup.
Brown Rice Cereal
I like to use crispy brown rice cereal in this recipe since I like the flavor and I like that it’s low in added sugar—and has a short ingredient list. You can use traditional Rice Krispies if you prefer.
What kind of peanut butter is best in this recipe?
I prefer to use natural unsweetened creamy peanut butter in this recipe. The Smucker’s shown above is a good option, as is this one from the Whole Foods store brand. Both options make really delicious no-bake peanut butter bars with just the right amount of crispiness.
What can I use in place of brown rice syrup?
So I try as hard as I can to give substitutions, especially when I know an ingredient may be new to many of you like with brown rice syrup. But this recipe really works best with it—it lends the exact texture of a classic Rice Krispie bar without using marshmallows.
TIP: I can find it in my small town grocery store in the baking aisle near the sugar. A jar is about $4 and will make about two batches of these bars.
Here’s a look at the simple process to make these peanut butter bars. Scroll down to the recipe card for specifics.
- Warm the peanut butter and syrup. (photo 1)
- Add the cereal. (photo 2)
- Mix. (photo 3)
- Press into a parchment-lined pan. Chill. (photo 4)
- Remove from pan with the parchment and slice. (photo 5)
Can I make these no-bake bars ahead?
These bars are best enjoyed on the day they are made but they can last up to 3 days stored in an airtight container. I prefer to store them in the fridge but they are fine at room temperature too—as long as your room temperature isn’t too warm! (If they get too warm, they may be very sticky.)
Tips for Making the Best Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
- Warm the peanut butter and syrup so it’s easy to stir together.
- Use crispy brown rice cereal or Rice Krispies.
- Use brown rice syrup (and not honey) for the best results and texture.
- Use unsweetened creamy natural peanut butter.
- Try Sunbutter if needed for an allergy-friendly option. (Note: Only do this if your kids like the taste of Sunbutter!)
- Let set in the fridge for a bit before slicing
- Add sprinkles if desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge or at room temperature for about 3 days.
I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe if you try it so please comment below with feedback!
Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two ends (so you can lift out the bars to slice once firm).
- Warm the peanut butter and rice syrup for 15-30 seconds in the microwave or until just warm
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Pour into prepared pan and press down evenly.
- Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Slice and serve.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- Use Sunbutter if needed for a nut-safe version.
- Use crispy brown rice cereal or a similar option with no added sugar.
- If you don't have parchment paper, coat pan with nonstick spray and remove excess with a paper towel.
- Top with sprinkles if desired.
- Look for brown rice syrup near the sweeteners in your grocery store.